It Starts with Kindness
Welcome to our Early Learning Program, where kindness sits at the centre of everything that we do. At Linden, we know that the best learning takes place when girls understand each other. Your daughter’s growth in the early years will be rich with social-emotional development as she learns how to use her voice and body to communicate and solve problems. We strive to nurture empathy in each girl so that she can confidently advocate for herself, while being mindful of the needs of others. We want our girls to genuinely care about themselves and each other. Linden girls learn right from the start that our environment is inclusive of all people. We honour and celebrate the diversity of our community, and look forward to sharing this with your daughter.
The Linden Family
Linden’s community is like no other—one that feels just like a family. From the moment your daughter sets foot through our doors, she will meet girls of all ages who are warm, friendly, and welcoming. We know about the benefits that come from relationships between girls of different ages, such as increased school participation and engagement, improved self-regulation, and greater empathy toward others. Because of this, we deliberately create new opportunities where our Early Learners can interact with older girls and adults in meaningful ways. By having a reading buddy, walking in the ravine with older students, or having a friend take an interest in her stories, your daughter will know that she is cared for and loved by the entire school community. She is already beginning to make friends that will last a lifetime.
Curiosity & Discovery
Linden establishes a strong foundation for learning within a caring, inquiry- and play-based environment. Girls actively participate in their own learning by wondering out loud, asking questions about the world surrounding them, and developing theories to create a shared understanding with their peers. As your daughter engages in play, she will find herself innovating and creating. Children are most receptive and engaged in learning when it is authentic and meaningful to them, and allows them to explore real-world problems. You will see a strong link between play and learning, especially in the areas of problem-solving, language acquisition, literacy, numeracy, and physical, social, and emotional development.
She has the foundation—kindness, a loving family, and her curiosity—now watch her grow. We believe that all students are capable. The Early Learners can do whatever they set their minds to. We equip them with the confidence to try, the tools to succeed, and the resilience to learn from their mistakes. We encourage them to practice appropriate responses to challenging feelings. They learn how to recognize and manage fatigue, disappointment, frustration, and over-stimulation, allowing them to be the ones in charge of their own responses. You will see your daughter become more autonomous, asking both peers and adults for help only when she feels that she needs it. By feeling both capable of directing her own learning and regulating herself, your daughter can develop a lifelong love of learning at Linden.
Based on our work with girls, we know that engaging girls in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) from an early age directly influences their choice of subjects and careers. This is why your daughter will conduct scientific experiments, participate in math and science fair presentations, and learn computer programming from the very start of her time at Linden. We see science and math as deeply linked to the arts and humanities. Learning through the arts will foster your daughter’s imagination, and promote her communication and social skills. She will enjoy many opportunities for creative experimentation through visual art, music, and drama.
Beyond the Classroom
The Linden gym is where your daughter will feel excited and safe to challenge herself physically, socially, and emotionally. Our high energy classes focus on cooperative play and fun that fosters teamwork. Your daughter will also enjoy various community activities, field trips, and outdoor experiential learning opportunities, such as our Week Without Walls. She will likely become involved in many school clubs, such as cooking, chess, library and programming clubs. She will find herself developing the confidence to use her voice at school-wide events with older students. These include our Social Justice Data Fair, Science Fair, Drama Night, Art Show, Festival of Lights, and Celebration to Greet the Summer.
Beyond the Early Years
The Early Learning Program is just the beginning of your daughter’s journey. Since 1993, Linden has been proudly graduating confident and capable students skilled in critical and creative thinking, who have become leaders in not only STEM fields, but also the arts, humanities, and global entrepreneurship. Our graduates enjoy a university acceptance rate of 100% to their first choice of program, and this year, all students who applied for early acceptance received offers. The Early Learning Program gives girls the foundation they need to excel academically and to contribute to the Linden and global community.
Meet Tonja Armstrong-MacInnis, RECE, Hons. B.A., M.A. (Early Childhood Studies, Ryerson University). Tonja serves as Associate Principal, Elementary School, and also teaches junior and senior Kindergarten. Tonja has more than 30 years of experience as an educator, including teaching at The Linden School for 14 of them. She is passionate about working with our youngest students within an inquiry- and play-based setting.
Tonja excels in supporting each student's diverse learning needs and works towards using an anti-oppressive anti-racist approach within her teaching practice. Her approach to teaching was also welcomed when she was Partial-Load Professor in the Early Childhood Education Department at Humber College.
Small Class Size
"We switched schools mid-year after a disappointing experience with a 34-student classroom. Our daughter was overwhelmed by the sheer number of kids and had stopped communicating. During her very first week at Linden we saw a dramatic change as she started to brighten up and look happy again, eager to return to Linden the following day. When asked if she liked Linden she told me, “No. I don’t like it. I love it!” The small class size really allows teachers to follow a play-based approach by enabling the girls to lead their own learning without getting bogged down with crowd control issues. It makes all the difference." —Early Learner Parent
Click the image above to download a copy of our Early Learning Program brochure.
Read our Early Learning Blog and follow our students throughout the year!